RALEIGH – New guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, led by Cooper’s Health Czar Mandy Cohen, is out with guidance for Thanksgiving as they continue use Pandemic Panic to attempt to micromanage your lives.
First, in last week’s press conference, Cohen admonished people planning on inviting over guests for the holidays that they don’t currently live with. Realizing, perhaps, that Thanksgiving is often the biggest travel holiday of the year precisely because we visit relatives and friends we don’t live with, DHHS issued guidance for what to do if you must get together.
It starts with having Thanksgiving outside. Now, that maybe a celebration closer to how the Pilgrims did it hundreds of years ago, but here it’s just the first unsolicited guidance from Czar Cohen.
Before the event:
• You should consider asking all guests to strictly avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.
• Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces (e.g., door handles, sink handles, bathroom surfaces) before guests come over and between uses.
• Keep the guest list small. When deciding how many people to invite to your gathering, consider the amount of space you have and the ability to maintain social distancing during the event.
• Higher risk guests should consider attending events virtually, so they can remain safely at home.
• If higher risk individuals do attend gatherings in person, ensure the 3Ws are practiced by all guests and limit the number of other guests in attendance as much as possible.
• The day before the event, all guests should screen for symptoms and stay home if they are not feeling well.
During the Thanksgiving event:
• Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.
• Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing between guest. People from the same household can be in groups together and do not need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other groups or families.
• Practice the 3 Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) during the event: Wear a face covering when not eating or drinking, Wait six feet apart from others, and Wash your hands regularly.
o When guests need to remove a face covering to eat or drink, it is recommended they
maintain 6 feet distance from people outside their household and put their face
coverings back on after they are done eating or drinking.
• Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible. Have one household approach the food serving area at a time to prevent congregating.
• Consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
• Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.
If that wasn’t enough, Czar Cohen has even provided a color coded system of low-to-high risk Thanksgiving activities, as if your family getting together represented a natural disaster or terror threat level.
The only really acceptable thing for you to do, in the eyes of the Cooper administration, is to not really have a celebration at all. Eat with people you live with, attend events virtually.
Anything beyond this represents super-spreader-status to Cohen and Cooper. We’re guessing that a lot of North Carolinians think a little differently about it all, and a great many will do with this advice what you typically do with unsolicited advice from someone you don’t know telling you how to live your life.